Cablevision Systems -- after months of negotiations -- announced a deal Monday with HBO to offer HBO Go and Max Go authenticated video services to cable TV subscribers, which now makes the premium network's TV Everywhere service available to 98% of its U.S. subscribers.
Cablevision expects to launch HBO's TV Everywhere services in the next few months, available to customers who subscribe to HBO and/or Cinemax with unlimited access to hundreds of titles online and via mobile devices for no extra charge.
The Cablevision announcement comes just days after Time Warner Cable said it would offer HBO Go and Max Go within the next month. Bright House Networks, meanwhile, has
an arrangement to leverage Time Warner Cable's programming agreements.
"Given the success and popularity of our own Optimum App, we know our customers want the flexibility to watch the programming they receive as part of their cable television service in new ways, on a variety of devices, so we are very pleased to have reached agreement to offer HBO GO and MAX Go to our digital cable customers," John Trierweiler, Cablevision's executive vice president of product management, said in a statement.
"Cablevision shares an appreciation for TV Everywhere and therefore recognizes the incredible value HBO Go adds to the HBO subscription," HBO co‐president Eric Kessler said in a statement. "With the addition of their iO TV customers, HBO Go will now be available to 98% of HBO subscribers."
HBO Go is currently available through Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, Verizon FiOS TV, AT&T U-verse, Suddenlink Communications, WideOpenWest, RCN and Massillon Cable.
The goal of HBO Go is to encourage subscribers to keep paying for the linear TV service. Over the course of a year, HBO typically has 10 million subscriber transactions -- adds and disconnects -- through its affiliates. The programmer has about 29 million U.S. subscribers.
"As with all subscription businesses with a lifecycle, you're trying to extend the lifecycle," Kessler said, speaking at the VideoSchmooze event in New York last month. "If you can increase the lifecycle by a month, two months, three months... times our wholesale rate, that's a lot of money."
According to Kessler, as of last month, the premium programmer had delivered 98 million streams through the TV Everywhere service, with most of it occurring in the last six months since the launch of its apps for Apple iOS devices and Android smartphones.
To date, however, Kessler said it's still too soon to gauge the effect of HBO Go on overall subscriber metrics. HBO originally launched HBO Go in February 2009 with Verizon FiOS.
HBO Go offers more than 1,400 titles online, including every episode of every season of original HBO shows including current series Game of Thrones, True Blood and Boardwalk Empire and older ones such as The Sopranos, Sex and the City and Deadwood, as well as movies, HBO original films, miniseries, sports, documentaries, and specials.
Max Go offers more than 400 titles of Cinemax programming online, including hundreds of movies and the Max After Dark series.
When Cablevision launches the service, HBO and Cinemax subscribers will be able to go to HBOGO.com and MAXGO.com, and sign in with their Optimum ID and password.